I decided this weekend that it was time for me to buy a lodge. I figured with the housing market exceedingly low that I could afford something.
It had been over 10 years since I purchased my last dwelling. The times have certainly changed since the last time I was shopping.
You may be saying to yourself, "but Casey, 10 years ago you were only 14. How could you afford a house?"
Well, I might have exaggerated "house" a bit. But it is the only dwelling I own, and that is my tent.
I currently own two tents. Both of them from REI. I have a three season one that I backpack with and a four season one for snow and car camping.
My four season tent is the REI Geo Mountain 3. This means that it is for three people (or two people and gear). I love this tent and I actually got it at a huge discount (70% off) when REI closed the Federal Way store. They put the whole store on sale rather than move the gear. It is really a nice tent. But weighs in at just over 10 pounds. In other words it's not for backpacking.
For my backpacking adventures I have the original REI Half Dome. It is around 10 years old and still in great shape. I take good care of the gear I buy. It hold two people. But I have noticed one major drawback with it. The tent works great with just one person in it. But with two people it really condensates.
In the 10 years since I bought that tent, the tent technology has made leaps and bounds. My old Half Dome weighs in at about six pounds.
Now, just like shopping for a new house, choosing the right tent is a huge commitment. I loved my other two REI tents, so that narrowed the market right away. (The main reason for this is the guarantee REI has on its products. The zipper on my rainfly broke. I took it into the REI store, they fixed it up like new and it cost me nothing. Nothing!)
Since I have my larger tent for car camps I decided I would go with a lighter tent than my old Half Dome this time around. That way when I backpack it will shave off a few pounds.
I thought about buying the new REI Half Dome 2 (it's the new version of my old tent) but after looking at it and reading reviews it only lost 3 ounces and still condenstated pretty bad with two in it.
Well, after hours of research and reading review upon review I have found my new home. It is the REI Quarter Dome T2 Tent. This tent is great. It weighs 4 pounds and the sides are fully mesh to allow better ventilation. And the reviews on it are all great. So it's settled, this is the tent for me.
Oh, and it gets better. I just got my REI dividend in the mail. It includes a 20% off coupon. I love saving money.